If ever there were a BLOG headline that set Spellcheck on its head, this is it.
“Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary: Or Why Can’t Anybody Spell?” by Vivian Cook is one of several books I’m in the midst of reading. I found it on the clearance table while shopping Borders in Chicago. I’m a sucker for the clearance table. So many great books are simply tossed by the wayside and sold at next to nothing.
I’ve always been a stickler for proper letter, word and punctuation usage; especially in my former role as a Traffic Manager. Nothing makes me more irate than seeing a sign for “Kustom” this, “Rite” that and (LOL) the other. “Accomodating Brocolli” has been a wake-up call for me. There are so many grammar concepts I’ve taken for granted, never made the time to further explore or simply pushed to the back of my mind.
Here are a few, as outlined by Cook that I hope will make you take a step back and say, “Hmmmm.”
- “wh” occurs only at the beginning of words: when
- “ck” occurs only at the end: black
- “ch” occurs only at the beginning, “tch” at the end: chat, catch
- “q” has to be followed by “u”: quick
- single “z” occurs only at the end with an “e”: laze
- “i” before “e” except after “c” applies only when “ei” goes with long “ee” (“eel”) not with the “ay” (“pay”) sound of “beige” or with “ay” plus silent “g”: “eight.” However, there are still exceptions: some words have “ei” rather than “ie” despite having the long “ee” sound: seize, caffine; plural “-ies”: currencies, policies; dipthongs: society, science; when “c” is said as “sh”: sufficient, ancient
Remember homographs? Is bass a fish or an instrument? When I say buffet, do you think about food or pushing the person next to you? If I say reading, are we talking books or a trip to Pennsylvania? Is job your occupation or a character of the Bible? Subtle nuances in pronunciation, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation can bring about a whole new word meaning.
Soooo, the nex’ tyme UR lookin’ 4 a good bk to read, eye strongly sugjest “Accomodating Brocolli.” If nothing else, it’ll make you more aware of your own grammatical idiosyncrasies; correcting them will make the world a better place!